Well the Bend Venture Conference is nearly upon us. So in lieu of our usual Wednesday #50startups post, we're previewing who all is coming to the BVC Friday and what they're after.<br />

Well the Bend Venture Conference is nearly upon us. So in lieu of our usual Wednesday #50startups post, we’re previewing who all is coming to the BVC Friday and what they’re after.

First things first (Ima realist)*: The BVC boasts its largest ever estimated investment in the angel conference’s 11 year history. Nearly $500,000 is up for grabs by the five launch stage companies. The investors include the BVC Fund, Seven Peaks, Cascade Angels, Craft3, the Oregon Growth Account and the Oregon Community Foundation.

“To have close to half a million dollars up for grabs, speaks to the strength of the entrepreneurial investment community in Central Oregon, and the sophistication of the type of businesses that have found success here,” says Brian Vierra, EDCO’s venture catalyst.

So who are these startups hoping for an investment? Four of the five BVC launch stage finalists hail from Portland, and one is from Bend. Four of them are technology companies, and one makes outerwear snowboarders. We also know that at least one has a cardboard yoda on staff. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Amplion (Bend) provides business intelligence solutions that give pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies strategic control of the complete clinical biomarker landscape.
  • Bright.md (Portland) builds software that helps healthcare providers cut the cost of patients visits by up to 80%.
  • CrowdStreet (Portland) is a crowdfunding platform that connects accredited investors with high quality, professionally managed investment real estate.
  • Homeschool (Portland) creates durable highly breathable outerwear available that keeps you warm and dry from the inside out.
  • PoachedJobs (Portland) is a hiring platform aimed at industries with high turnover rates, starting with the restaurant industry.

These launch stage companies each have 25-minutes to make their case on stage.

Six concept stage companies will also compete for a $10,000 prize from BendBroadband. A wild card concept company — voted on at the unConference — will join the five concept stage finalists.The winners of both competitions will be announced at the end of the day.

In addition watching 11 startups pitch their business ideas, the BVC also features keynote speaker Steve Sliwa, CEO and founder of Seeq Corporation and former CEO of Insitu. And there’s lunch. So it’s a jam-packed day.

We’ll be there. Follow us @bendtech on twitter. We’ll post pics and update throughout the conference using #bendventure. And check back here Friday afternoon to learn more about the winners.

*We’re actually not very fancy.

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of StartupBend.com, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in WSJ.com, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at kellykearsley.contently.com or kellykearsley.com.

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley